Objective: To test the hypothesis that physical leisure time activities reduce the risk of developing persistent fatigue.
Methods: The hypothesis was tested in a sample that was homogeneous with respect to sex and occupation, with a prospective cohort design. Of 6234 vocationally active, female, Norwegian nurses’ aides, not on leave because of illness or pregnancy when they completed a mailed questionnaire in 1999, 5341 (85.7%) completed a second questionnaire 15 months later. The main outcome measure was the prevalence of persistent fatigue—that is, always or usually feeling fatigued in the daytime during the preceding 14 days.
Results: In participants without persistent fatigue at baseline, reported engagement in physical leisure time activities for 20 minutes or more at least once a week during the three months before baseline was associated with a reduced risk of persistent fatigue at the follow up (odds ratio = 0.70; 95% confidence interval 0.55 to 0.89), after adjustments for age, affective symptoms, sleeping problems, musculoskeletal pain, long term health problems of any kind, smoking, marital status, tasks of a caring nature during leisure time, and work factors at baseline.
Conclusion: The study supports the hypothesis that physical leisure time activities reduce the risk of developing persistent fatigue.
- nurses’ aides
- prospective studies
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